Book Jacket

 

rank 54
word count 12550
date submitted 09.07.2010
date updated 08.05.2011
genres: Fiction, Thriller, Historical Ficti...
classification: moderate
incomplete

To Kill a Dead Man

Dan D. Andreescu

A story about Saddam's Iraq, the doubles who died in his place, the Mukhabarat, the CIA and a Russian oil tsar with a special agenda.

 

When a head of state threatens to unleash weapons of mass destruction the White House orders executive action and the CIA sends in their prize assassins.

The American Clint Vaughan and the British Mike Shannon were the best that the Phoenix program ever produced. For years each acted as his country’s first line of defense—eliminating enemies, both foreign and domestic. But as the Cold War faded from the headlines, the two retired into anonymity.

Men who live or die by their own rules, they are not only perfectly suited for the job but also expendable. Their assignment: to penetrate Iraq’s Mukhabarat and terminate with extreme prejudice the rogue dictator. As if that isn't enough, they must also discover who supplied the weaponry.

When the laboriously masterminded plan falls apart, the two are left to their own devices. With the bravado of the abandoned they determine to execute the mission. However, they don’t expect to be sold out by the very people who employ them.

Constructive criticism would be greatly appreciated and returned in kind.

 
rate the book

to rate this book please Register or Login

 

tags

spy thriller

on 350 watchlists

709 comments

 

To leave comments on this or any book please Register or Login

subscribe to comments for this book
J. Moore wrote 1338 days ago

Well, wouldn't you know. I find someone who actually wants constructive criticism and I can't think of any to give. I can tell you what works: everything. This is honestly one of the more professionally polished books I've found on this site. It reads like a Tom Clancy or W.E.B. Griffin novel. The only downfall is that you're too smart for most readers. There is a lot of jargon and esoteric language that would go over the head of anyone who isn't familiar with military OPs, foreign relations, geography, and world politics. I don't know any way around that. Your target audience will be people who are either as educated on those topics as you are or are willing to patiently learn about it. Unfortunately, most readers don't read to learn. Fans of Michener, Griffin, Clancy, etc. will have a friggin' blast with this, though; the premise is fascinating. The characters are badass but not perfect badasses, which is good. On top of all that, your writing skills are superb.

What I can offer is copyediting: When you say "forty Celcius," make sure you say "forty degrees Celcius." I know, a minor point. There is a typo of this' which I think should be "this is." "The Dark Ages" should be capitalized. "Mother Fuckers" should be "motherfuckers." "Gumba" is actually spelled "goombah," although some dictionaries accept "goomba," and it shouldn't be capitalized. One other typo near the end of chapter one: "al" should be "at."
These are all very minor things. They did not distract me, nor did they lessen my enjoyment of the text; they're simply tiny nits that need correction.

I thoroughly enjoyed this and read a lot more than I usually do. Although much of the jargon was foreign to me, it wasn't enough to overwhelm me. I wish you the best of luck with this. In my opinion, it deserves to be on the editor's desk.

J. Moore
Vigilante

sly012468 wrote 1283 days ago

Dan,
Thanks for turning me on to your story. I love military stories, especially one's that involve Special Ops. (I recently discovered the Military Channel and lets just say my reaction was akin to that of a child at a free, all you can eat candy buffet!) I really like the way your story begins with a bang, or a CIA secret mission, that is. Your description of the characters, their surroundings, are great, but what I really like is the detail in things that some people maybe don't know as well; like the weapons, vehicles, etc. I was really bummed that there was only 4 chapters though, but that is OK, I look forward to buying the book when it comes out! Kudos, my friend, for a really fabulous story!

Shelly Palmer
The Duke from the Past

Laurence Howard wrote 1368 days ago

Powerful, authoritative and gripping are the first three words that spring to mind. A little overdone I think with detail but nothing a good edit can't take care of. Definately up with Robert Ludlum and Ian Fleming with your own easy style that is riveting from the pitch onwards. You transport the reader into the world of espionage and conspiracy with convincing narative and excellent dialogue. This will be on the editor's desk very soon and on the store shelf not long after. A great read to take with you on a long haul flight. Best of luck. Backed.
Laurence Winchester, The Cross of Goa

EltopiaAuthor wrote 1372 days ago

Hello Dan:

Gosh, and to think I had skipped over this title! Wonderfully descriptive opening, interesting concept and a perfect one for a thriller or adventure story, with hitoricity to boot. Well written. Tight writing, concrete/specific, and it seems unique to me. A genuine writer's voice, does not come across as contrived in the least. I think you have got gold here!

Will back ASAP of course.

F. Ellsworth Lockwood
"The Final Cruise"

Chris 1 wrote 224 days ago

Slickly written, full of knowledge, you know your stuff. I like the way the scene changes quite swiftly - the shifting sands of modern geo-politics - thus it keeps the pace fast moving.

Words are not wasted here. You use precise descriptions and the dialogue is professional, sharp. reading this, I feel like I'm about to embark on a mission alongside the characters. BACKED

Seringapatam wrote 411 days ago

Dan, I found this to be brilliant for my first read. It had me captured from the word go although I have to say this is right up my street and my type of book anyway. Brilliant narrative, with a great pace to it. I couldnt put it down once I started and thats what its all about. If you can do that to a reader such as I then you are going to win a lot of votes I am sure. Brilliant flow and great descriptions. I think you have a little gem here and I cant wait to see what it will do. I will of course be staring this very high.
Sean Connolly. British Army on the Rampage. (B.A.O.R) Please consider me for a read or watch list wont you??? Many thanks. Sean

copilu wrote 508 days ago

Hello Dan,
I am very impressed with this book. First of all, congratulations! I have no words to describe what sensation I have after reading. I read that someone said in her comment that the author should... "put more feeling behind your words, don't be scared to express yourself because at times I felt like their wasn't any emotion". I imagine that this person still reads books like "Cinderella". I would like to tell her that she should understand that in Central Intelligence Agency or other Secret Services you cannot express your own feelings, because the enemy has not to guess who you are, maybe you play a role, you are another person for him.
In this book you'll find a very good dialogue so you can realize what kind of characters are. You'll find a very good description of places, weapons, cars, activities, actions. I concluded that the author is a very good knowledge of history, geography, philosophy, psychology, domestic and international politics, and not least, he is a great master of writing. This book is full of "gold", this book is a "treasure". "To Kill a Dead Man" deserves to be on the editor's desk. People like me are waiting to read this book entirely. Back with love ! All the best in your career ! Copilu'

R.E. Ader wrote 529 days ago

Great read, very well done.

Abby Vandiver wrote 557 days ago

You erite very well, the flow is easyand the pace is good. I really liked the story and don't have any criticisms.

Abby

Stark Silvercoin wrote 757 days ago

To Kill a Dead Man is a great political and action thriller, written by an author who either has walked the walk himself, or did a heck of a lot of research into the shadow wars the US and Britain like to fight behind the scenes, especially in the Middle East.

Author Dan D. Andreescu takes us into the intrigue surrounding Iraq, a very contemporary place for this type of action, yet, surprisingly not very often written about in spy thriller circles. So this is both a unique and popular spot to set a book.

There are only four chapters posted, but I was easily transfixed by them. The characterization makes the main people seem very real. The sense of place is also evident, whether we are in the dusty Middle East or foggy Coventry. You will be brought right down to street level. In fact, the atmosphere is almost an extension of the character’s mood, which is a nice touch. You don’t normally get that level of quality in a thriller, so it’s great to find it here.

This is a rare thriller that will enthrall those who like this type of book, and I suspect that it could temp quite a few into the genre on the strength of the story and the writing. The only thing I regret is that there are not more chapters posted.

John Breeden II
Old Number Seven

NA Randall wrote 767 days ago

Dan,

I've just read what's posted here under Chapter 1. Here are my thoughts:

Firstly, politcal thrillers are not really my bag. But, on the strength of your writing here, I can see how this would greatly appeal to your ideal target audience. This is a very proficient piece of writing. Your prose has that taut, steely economy that is the hallmark of all novels of this genre. The political backdrop has a very authentic ring to it, and even though this opens in the late-70's, the story, in the light of current events, has a strangely topical feel. In this respect, you write with authority, and to great effect, whether it be a Stars and Stripes fluttering on the breeze, or a submarine flooding its tanks and diving beneath the surface.

A lot of work has clearly gone into what is a very polished, professional piece of writing. Happy to give you a run on my shelf.

Regards

NA 'The Butterfly and the Wheel'

turnerpage wrote 783 days ago

You’ve clearly written this with a particular market in mind and know exactly the kind of reader this will appeal to, as all genre fiction writers are meant to do. This is a fine example of a high concept, plot-driven action thriller written with authority to convince this reader that the writer knows his stuff. It's clearly written and you have an ear for dialogue. It’s a timely book, set in the recent past, in Iraq, a place which features on news reports almost every week yet to most of us is beyond our comprehension. The very best of luck with it and for its future publication.
Alison (Lambert Nagle)
Revolution Earth

Battle Knyght wrote 846 days ago

At first, it starts as a well worn story. Then it explodes in to making you believe it is real.
Worth backing.
BK

Ian Walkley wrote 894 days ago

Hi Dan
You’ve written the sort of book I love to read: great technical detail, lots of action and political intrigue. All wrapped up around one of the most controversial episodes in modern history, the wisdom of which will be debated for many years. Your prose is clean and well edited for the most part. You get into POV of characters well, but don’t dwell on heaps of backstory like some writers. Your writing shows you know your stuff and looking at your resume you have the sort of backstory that publishers froth at the mouth for. I have no doubt you’ll get taken up by a publisher.
I’ve had to resort to picky little comments, because there’s nothing major to question.
Title: Like it!
Short Pitch: I think you could get a stronger one liner here Dan, to hook the reader. “A story” is also weak. “Two prized assassins, expendable and perfectly suited to kill a rogue head of state — Saddam Hussein — are in place. And about to be abandoned…”
Long Pitch: Great.
Ch1: “Spy satellites have” – might be better as “had”
“Motionless, as a permanent fixture“ doesn’t need a comma
With Vaughan on the beach it’s a little confusing whether he’s lying down or standing. He’s “sprawled” but then hears the crash of the surf at his feet.
“slunk” – suggests he’s on his feet, but he’s using his elbows.
If he’s American would he be thinking in meters?
Would he be chewing on a cigar during an ambush?
The dialogue about Libyans being in the Dark Ages seems a little contrived. I think it would be better to keep it short and to the point.
All the best with the book and your “new career”.
Cheers
Ian

Neville wrote 1002 days ago

To Kill a Dead Man.
By Dan D. Andreescu.


One of the most compelling reads so far and there’s a lot of competition on this site.
A truly amazing book, your description leaps out at the reader…stunning writing!
Your ability is unmistaken…you will go far in the world of publishing.
I don’t want to appear too patronizing but this is very good stuff.
The storyline itself is enough to keep the reader involved…the way it’s written, a bonus.
I won’t comment about parts of the book…It’s not needed…it’s all brilliant throughout.
If this doesn’t reach the book shops, I’d be very surprised and a publisher will have lost out.
Obviously I rate it with six stars and shelve it.

Kind regards,

Neville. THE SECRETS OF THE FOREST – THE TIME ZONE.

lafrattajoe wrote 1006 days ago

Great read. It flows tremendously. Very well done.

Joe

subra_2k123 wrote 1008 days ago

Hi, I liked the premise and backed with pleasure. soon I will read all chapters on this site and comment. Please find some time to look at my book 'Ozoneraser'

eddie mccann wrote 1009 days ago

Dear Dan,

Excellently written, too technical in parts, Alistair Maclean couldn't have done better in manoeuvring the characters into position. A first rate war story. Not my type of book but I enjoyed it excellent.

Eddie

ellen zachary wrote 1012 days ago

Hi,

I like the mystery (of the book summary) and the style of writing. I have not read in full yet but i am putting it on my WL.

Renaud wrote 1062 days ago

Excellent professional writing, I look forward to reading more.

But Bowler Hat!!! Other than Prince Philip when driving a team of horses for sport, nobody but N O B O D Y in the UK has worn one for 40 years.

Daniela Pitakova wrote 1076 days ago

Your book grasps the reader right into the action and holds him/her interested throughout the immaculate descriptions of any situation surroundings. Your explanations are so vivid I can imagine everything in detail. Well witten and enjoyable piece.

Good Luck
Daniela

KylieGrant1 wrote 1081 days ago

Dan.
I read the first three chapters of your book and although I am not usually a fan of military novels and/or thrillers, I did enjoy them. I especially like your detailed and vivid descriptions which ease the technical aspects of the book so that there is a good balance and it doesn't become too overpowering. I like the dialogue, it adds details to the characters, and brings them alive on the page, which I think is needed in such a heavily technical first three chapters. The one, and only, correction I would make is at the beginning of Chapter Two where you have a long descriptive sentence about the season and then the weather. Although I do understand why you have done this ( the setting in a novel like this is of utmost importance) I felt like you were telling me a little too much, perhaps show the reader the setting, just as you do in the first chapter with the man sweating in the car. It aids the flow and means the reader stays inside the story, rather than on the outside looking in. I will be reading your other chapters. Good luck with it, I really hope you find a publisher for it.

KylieGrant1 wrote 1081 days ago

Dan.
I read the first three chapters of your book and although I am not usually a fan of military novels and/or thrillers, I did enjoy them. I especially like your detailed and vivid descriptions which ease the technical aspects of the book so that there is a good balance and it doesn't become too overpowering. I like the dialogue, it adds details to the characters, and brings them alive on the page, which I think is needed in such a heavily technical first three chapters. The one, and only, correction I would make is at the beginning of Chapter Two where you have a long descriptive sentence about the season and then the weather. Although I do understand why you have done this ( the setting in a novel like this is of utmost importance) I felt like you were telling me a little too much, perhaps show the reader the setting, just as you do in the first chapter with the man sweating in the car. It aids the flow and means the reader stays inside the story, rather than on the outside looking in. I will be reading your other chapters. Good luck with it, I really hope you find a publisher for it.

folaketaylor wrote 1083 days ago

Though spy/militaries stories are not my thing, what I have read so far is well written and top notch and I wish you the best. You deserve to get on the editor's desk. :)

J.Kinkade wrote 1083 days ago

I enjoyed chapter 1, and I only have two minor crits:

I'm not sure why you have a comma after 'passenger' and 'Mercedes' in the opening para.

And in the last sentence, 'He used his finger to poke Clint's chest' doesn't really work for me. My first thought was, what else would he poke him with? And then I thought, well I suppose he could use a weapon, but was he holding one? And would he 'poke' a weapon? Maybe, 'He poked his finger in Clint's chest" would work better? It might just be me. Like I said, minor crits!

Also, 'God-forsaken' sounds so cliche to me--even if it is dialogue. I would use, pardon my French, 'shithole' instead.

This reads really well. Very smooth, very tight writing. Good dialogue. Thanks for allowing me the opportunity to read and comment. Best of luck! J. Kinkade

bexy-lou-c wrote 1085 days ago

Hi Dan,

Thanks for the read request, I must admit I was very intrigued by the witty title and I can say that I am very pleased to have read a fair few chapters. I admit I struggled a little at times as I am unfamilar with weaponery and such. However, I really love the story and I think you have a real flow to your writing that keeps the reader intrested throughout. It has a fast pace that sets it apart from most thriller/action books. Most importantly it appears you really know your stuff.

Starred and added.

Rebecca

S Gail Seymour wrote 1086 days ago

Just a couple of small pointers. Right from the outset I noticed problems with tense agreement that nearly put me off reading any further. (eg, the man in the first paragraph parying he'll get to his destination instead of he'd get to his destination.)
I also found some of the treatment of the dialogue a bit wobbly. Some of it is absorbed into paragraphs that probably should be broken out.
But once it gets going, it shows promise. I found it a nice balance of action and dialogue that made me want to read on, so maybe it's just the opening that needs more work.

I Simpson wrote 1086 days ago

Hello, Dan!
Thanks for the kind comments about Sons of the Fathers.
I think this could be really, really good. I like the Clint 'n Mike double act. It promises well, in particular because of the woman who came between them. Personally, I would like to see Chap 4 earlier in the story, with all the meetings dealt with as explanation to the protagonists when they have their highly-charged encounter and, no doubt, initially refuse to work together. 'The President himself asks you to do this' is about all you need, the mission having been explained. I'd like to see the prologue absorbed into Chap 1, which you could put in italics to emphasise the time gap. All this is subjective, of course, but I felt the story came properly alive when the old war-horses were being coaxed out of retirement.
Others have commented on the plethora of detail. While some may need to be edited out, I think it gives authenticity to this sort of novel.
Your Brit stuff goes wrong from time to time: I've never been to Coventry, but I didn't know it's particularly foggy; 'mate' better than paps and buddy; flick-knife not switchblade; miles not kilometres; it's dark about 8.00pm in April, and that's not the middle of the night; Mike would see swathes of yellow daffodils, the blooms beginning to wither, on his way home - there are streetlamps(!), and parallels to Mike himself?
Irritating errors, unworthy of an excellent writer like you: Home Office; Prime Minister: suburban (unless it's a proper name); bin Laden; Zimbabwe. In Chap 4: no comma after 'Please'; he'd not he's; kerb; hoodie.
I look forward to seeing a lot more of this. It's worth your time and effort.
Best,
Ian.

davidbowen wrote 1086 days ago

This book is up there with the best of the thrillers. Immediately grabbed my attention and made me want to read on. It actually sounds like the author knows what he is writing about. Fans of Clancy and his ilk will surely love this book.

Clive Eaton wrote 1087 days ago

This book is generally well written and builds the overall picture neatly in the early paragraphs. There were one or two sentences requiring more punctuation (e.g. when you describe Steve and Jerry's weapons of choice - it could do with a comma after 'norm' and 'favorite'.). Also some of the dialogue seems slightly unnatural - "Was I to stop the cars and ask for identification?" seems a bit formal, whereas I'm sure in reality there would have been more aggression, justification and swearing after having just received a rollicking, such as - "What the hell did you expect me to do. Stop the cars and asked for their fucking identification." Writing natural sounding dialogue isn't easy, but having spent years in the military myself I think such an incident would have been discussed in a more heated manner. Overall an entertaining read.

talespin wrote 1088 days ago

A good start, Dan. Setting the hook early is important. You seem to have done your research. It's hard for me to comment on plot or character development with only four chapters posted so far. You will get style comparisons, it is inevitable. The most important thing is to find your own voice and style and not emulate. Would like to read more so I can give an honest rating.

Les

talespin wrote 1088 days ago

A good start, Dan. Setting the hook early is important. You seem to have done your research. It's hard for me to comment on plot or character development with only four chapters posted so far. You will get style comparisons, it is inevitable. The most important thing is to find your own voice and style and not emulate. Would like to read more so I can give an honest rating.

Les

BW Cassidy wrote 1088 days ago

This novel is clearly incredibly well researched, and I have a suspicion that you don't want to waste any of the detail that you've discovered. I thought the plot was good, but obscured by the phenomenal amount of information that you've amassed. For example, there was no need to specify every single weapon used by the 'kill-team' in chapter one. Rather than making it more interesting it slowed down the pace in what otherwise would have been a very fast paced introduction. To use a cliche, sometimes less is more.
I wasn't sure that the prologue helped a great deal. The gripping part that made me want to read more actually began in Chapter One, and the prologue might have put me off if I was browsing the novel in a book shop. I'd be tempted to move that part into further into the novel as background.
The second chapter was good, because it was slower paced and because in that circumstance the added detail helped rather than hindered the pace.
On the whole, I thought the novel was good and well worth following. I wouldn't take any criticism from me too seriously as I'm fairly new to all this, and I do genuinely think there is a market out there for this type of fiction.

blackrose602 wrote 1089 days ago

Thanks for inviting me to review the book. This is entirely outside my ordinary preferred genre, and I was a bit skeptical when I began. But you drew me in quickly, first with the pitch and then with the immediate action on the first page. I found it gripping, with a real air of authenticity--I believed in the characters and believed that the events could unfold just as described.

It may be a touch intellectual to entirely win over the mainstream, but that's one of things I loved best. This is a thinking person's book, and on a few occasions I found myself rereading a passage to make sure I had all the details straight. That's not a criticism but a compliment, I love books that make me sit up and pay attention!

There are a handful of minor copyediting nitpicks, but that's really the only negative I have. I would love to read the rest of this! I backed it. Good luck!

Norton Stone wrote 1092 days ago

This is very solidly written but I feel you will have to make a decision at some point whether the enormous amount of detail you provide is going to limit it's readership. The detail gives it enormous credibility, )you clearly know your ordnance) I imagine particularly with those who work or have worked in the military and that market may well be large enough to make this a real possibility for publication. Of course there are also many non-military types who like this sort of thing but I think as the audience broadens the story needs to get stronger and the detail perhaps less to the fore. Experts in the genre would no better than I and other military writers on this site would be able to give you advice on striking the right balance. There were a few changes in tense that I spotted, one in the very first paragraph, you say he'll when talking in the past tense, possibly should be 'he would' Later starting "At 0300 spy satellites 'have', I think it should be 'had'. It is easy to see how much hard work and research has gone into this. Well done.

Helianthus wrote 1092 days ago

I finally got around to reading this. It's entirely not my genre, so I can't comment much about it. I agree with previous comments that this may be over the heads of the general public; but there are people who eat this sort of stuff for breakfast, so I imagine a market can be found for it. The writing seems solid. I think your few typos were already pointed out. There were also a lot of inconsistent indentations, which may be an Authonomy thing - I noticed my own book had similar issues which don't appear in the document on my end.

Jedda wrote 1093 days ago

The writing runs at a pace and is full of information for the reader to digest. Carlos has escaped as far as I have read, despite the actions of the special killing unit. This is not my usual genre. It is a book to be read in comfort not off a screen.It would appear that you have done much research into geography of the area, weaponary and the jargon of special forces. I can almost believe that you are as experienced as Mike in the craft of espionage and killing. Good Luck, on my shelf, Anne

Frostduke wrote 1094 days ago

Well Dan, like you I've never read this genre before and actually found myself drawn in by the first chapter. The art of a good writer is voice and you certainly have found your voice. If I didn't know any better - you were actually part of that!? I know a few male members in my family that would enjoy this. It isn't vague and you're tapping into an audience that understand the military jargon. Backed!

Jess Steven Hughes wrote 1097 days ago

This reads like a Tom Clancy or W.E.B. Griffin novel and devotees of this genre will enjoy the book. Is this the readership you are primarily gearing this toward? It is suspensefull, full of tension, and keeps the reader wanting to read more. However, there is a lot of military jargon that will go over the head of the general readership, I don't what you can do about that.

I would like to see more of Mike's inner thoughts and reactions, this would add to the tension and make the reader care more about him. However, this should not affect the overall read.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and it is a novel that I would buy. Good luck. This one I am sure will go all the way.

Jess Hughes
The Sign of the Eagle

ARBraun wrote 1098 days ago

This is a great subject for a book. Very intriguing. My only suggestion would be to have more dialogue and inner thoughts early on. It seemed that the beginning of the book was all description, and that held me back a bit.

DavidByrne wrote 1101 days ago

"Mike Shannon had not killed anyone lately" - Love that.

This is obviously very well researched and I love the dialogue. Very realistic.
I'm going to back it.

David

DavidByrne wrote 1101 days ago

"Mike Shannon had not killed anyone lately" - Love that.

This is obviously very well researched and I love the dialogue. Very realistic.
I'm going to back it.

David

Shawn Hendricks wrote 1102 days ago

Pre-Ch. 1

"A torrid day for Westphalia" doesn't add anything and certainly isn't the hook you want to set. In fact, move or remove the entire first paragraph.

Advised versus [has] had.

In 1978, the PC had not gotten huge market penetration and the parlance would not have supported unloading "data," but 'information.' Also, generals are not typically into the hard numbers or data but into connections, networking, policy and orders.

[With] that solved…
~~~~

The beginning is standard with nothing new or unique to recommend reading onward. The introduction of the black operator supplies little of interest. It feels as if you are going through the motions of setting the stage. Consider beginning at the point where he needs his poison.

I don't feel hooked.

JohnDoe wrote 1103 days ago

Even though it's not a genre I have familiarity with I've been meaning to look at this for a while as it's been on a good friend's shelf for weeks. Started it today and liked the idea I found in the LP. I could quite easily imagine a table-turning of this sort and it making a good story. I got the sense of a thriller immediately in 'Executive Action' and I can imagine thriller fans feeling quite at home and settling into this with interest. I will read on and rate.

Fred Le Grand wrote 1104 days ago

I'm not sure about this one.
The story would make a good screenplay, the characters are well-written and the pace is good.
My only problem is that the first half of the first chapter is all tell. You have to paint a scene then introduce a character or characters, then make them do something, then dialogue, then conclusion. Modern fiction is a series of such scenes, long or short. It you explain too much it becomes telling which readers don't like much. I understand how you need the back-story at the start, but you could drip feed it over the first chapter rather than position your players in the way you do.
The dialogue needs adjusting. You make the characters do something with every line of dialogue and I think it slows the pace of the speech. I would only interupt with essential changes of posture or actions so the scene flows.
Apart from those gripes, I figure you can make this very, very good so I'll back it.

DanoJ wrote 1107 days ago

Having read the first chapter, I concur with others that your writing is excellent, and the story very engaging. I appreciate your shelving my book, "The Cowstail Keep," and hope that you find it engaging. I look forward to further reading "To Kill a Dead Man." Did I mention that the title is fantastic? Love it.

nuknuk wrote 1114 days ago

I usually don't read this genre but you got my attention! Congrads on that! I'm sure this will be a hit with thriller enthusiasts.
Leslie

Fair Play wrote 1118 days ago

i've just checked out what the previous commentator has said, and to the long list of what you've been and what you've done in your profile you should seriously consider adding ''bull*****er'' and ''authonomy cheat'' ...the latter referring to the IDENTICALmessages of praise you've been sending out to fellow writers for many months in the hope of getting your own work backed. You always say you're pressed for time. No wonder when you're seriously reviewing countless books every day.

Barbara Jurgensen wrote 1118 days ago

This is one of the most professional books here. You're a worthy descendant of Michener. I stand amazed. Keep going. I'm putting it on my bookshelf.

lterry wrote 1119 days ago

Okay I'm reading along and have a tenuous grasp on what's going on (I told you this wasn't my genre). I'm so out of my element here. However, everything is well-written enough that I'm not totally lost and if you knew me better you'd realize you've accomplished a lot. Everything flows well and the character descriptions so far are sparse, which is as it should be I'm thinking with this book, and their dialogue is smooth and believable. Your descriptions are just enough for me to have a good idea of the surroundings and have my brain pumping an image in my head but you do good with no overloading me with unnecessary details.
Cliff stiffened a yawn? sounds weird.. Do you mean stifled?
"Don't start taking decisions on your own." I'd think making decisions would be the better word.
I'm thinking I should keep reading. What do you say? We're both out of our element but it'd be an enlightening experience. But you only have four chapters or you just haven't uploading them all?
- lisa

2004carlt wrote 1124 days ago

Hi Dan, found the first section hard to follow as it skipped through events too fast. It settled a bit as I read the section starting 'The late August sun.....' which read better as it felt more stable. But then this section was quickly interrupted by Chapter 1 where I'm faced with another scene setting. For me, the story started at 'Clint came to Langley.....' as this part went straight into a tense scene that didn't need much explaining.

I admit that this is not my normal read but from a storytelling point of view the writing and the writer got in the way of the story. Again, this isn't my normal read so I'm just going on the writing and general clarity of the story. I got pulled in at the 'Clint came to Langley.....' section as before that it was a wall of words trying to convince me I was it the right part of the world with the right group of people. This may be what your target audience is used to, so I guess you're the best judge of that.

jlbwye wrote 1126 days ago

Not sure about your title, though, Dan..... perhaps you need something less dreary?
Just a thought.
Jane.

rosemariemeleady wrote 1127 days ago

It's my husband's, father's and brother's birthday soon, so will you hurry up and get published as this book would be a PERFECT present for them! It is so difficult to find good, well written, modern, millitary based thrillers. Some of the jargon went over my head but that is because it is not my genre but I know my 'man folk' would eat it up. I spotted a few tiny typos but I can't talk as my manuscripts are riddled with them! I'll try and get my husband to have a read if he has time and give his constructive criticism as it would be definately be more his genre. I've given you 6 stars on the basis that I would buy your book for 3 people if it was published! Best of luck and I look forward to seeing this on the shelves by their next birthday! Rosemarie

Jay Adiyarath wrote 1127 days ago

Hey Dan,

Many thanks for backing ED.
You have got the pulse right - it's a thriller no doubt, popular without age bar. Long time since we had genuine spy thrillers - I thought they disappeared with the Cold War.
Your book will soon be published I hope and I shall contribute to hasten it.
For now I have starred it heavily and backed it too.

Jay Adiyarath